Is it Republican Incompetence or Immorality?


Which of these two — if you had to choose one — better defines the modern Republican Party: incompetence or immorality?

I can never end this debate that has played out in my head since Dubya.

One moment I’m thinking, “It’s their willful ignorance, their amateurishness, their rank incompetence that defines them.”

That’s how I felt recently, when I read comments by Lindsay Graham after the demise of his plan to replace the ACA. A reporter asked him, “You’ve been working to overhaul this for seven years. Why is this so hard?” Graham responded: ‘Well, I’ve been doing it for about a month." A month! The key idea in the bill, he admitted, “came from a conversation in a barbershop.” A barbershop! All’s well that ends well, however, since Graham “enjoyed this more than anything,” having finally had a chance to learn after only 25 years in public office that different populations have “unique healthcare needs and one size doesn’t fit all, even within your state.” :confused:

Then I catch myself up short: “No, no, their incompetence is minor compared to their immorality. They know full well that trickle-down economics is simply a ruse for making rich people richer. And yet here they are AGAIN, a decade after Bush drove the economy off a cliff, with a proposal to write a check for $1.5 trillion to Donald Trump and his ilk.” Lying, thieving, taking perverse enjoyment in the suffering of people they hate — that’s just evil. :rage:

So, which is the sine qua non of Republicanism? Which of the two is the defining trait? Which poses the greater danger to the rest of us?

Incompetence or immorality? (Illustrative examples welcome.)


Is this mainly for the rich?
Any tax cut worth doing will disproportionately benefit the rich because the rich pay most of the taxes. That is a given, so anyone barking up this tree is just gaming the debate in hopes of inciting envy.

What about the middle class? There is plenty in this proposed legislation to benefit the middle class, including lower rates, a higher standard deduction, and larger child tax credit. The terrible truth is that this reform doesn’t touch the real problem: two-thirds of American families pay higher payroll taxes than income taxes. Someone, someday, is going to have to confront this problem.

How is this tax cut going to be paid for? This is another rhetorical trick. Actually, it’s worse: it’s an assault on the English language. The “paying for” language presumes that government already owns all your money and is somehow benevolently letting you keep some of it, and, by doing so, it is thus spending.

The Rise of Revenge

The political consequences are all around us. You can feel the seething anger everywhere in American culture. This is no surprise. The difference between 1% GDP growth and 3% GDP growth is the difference between despair and hope.

Are you trying to figure out where the Trump and Sanders movements came from? This is where they come from. They are the left-wing and right-wing versions of the politics of resentment. It’s about finding someone to blame–some imagined “other” who is the source of our problems.

And the reality, we cannot afford tax cuts.
We need to increase taxes.
We need to broaden the tax base and include some of the 45% not paying axes.
We need to revisit SS/Medicare/Medicaid and cut spending as the mentioned entitlement programs account for over half of all government spending.
We desperately ned to reduce the debt by reducing spending.

You cannot have massive entitlement programs without taxes and more spending.

As to incompetence, both parties are incompetent from the liberal/progressives passing a healthcare law the was designed to fail to the inability to replace it or end it by the GOP.

Immoral, politics has always been immoral from LBJ’s Vietnam fiasco to the GOP fiasco in Iraq to Obama’s support in overthrowing the Egyptian and Libyan governments.


It is the incoherence of modern conservative dogma that yields up both incompetence and immorality. Because the real form of conservatism is really just a vague desire to go slowly or not at all in shepherding change, it doesn’t inspire passion which means votes. While those in positions of privilege and power are happy to regularly support conservative politicians of any party, they are too few to reliably win elections.

So when the Democratic Party captured the moral high ground with Civil Rights and Voting Rights, as well as Medicare and the Great Society, conservatives needed red meat for more votes. This requires a rotating stock of lowbrow issues that tend to simply stoke resentment at changes, which helps those of wealth and privilege because most changes dilute their power and resisting them preserves it.

It doesn’t sound very inspiring to campaign on “Make (keep) our wealthy powerful!” So the effort to find issues with which to round up the votes of rubes leads to both self-delusion for some Republican officials and rank hypocrisy by others. It is the emptiness at the core of conservatism that requires it to be filled with lies and fantasies.


:astonished::astonished::astonished: I can’t believe I just read such tripe… never forget that mister political opportunists LBJ fought against civil rights before he was for it… and it took a fair number of republicans to pass it. The law of course was put together in yet another egregious usurpation of the constitution and that deficiency, just like Plessy v Ferguson is showing its stupidity… As far as the great society… poverty levels have only gone up and once functioning cities have been gutted by the brightspark idea of putting housing projects right in the middle of the most economical and socially deprived areas available… not to mention the huge number of homes broken up by stupidly applied subsistence laws… I could go on and on about the ‘incompentence’ of the democratic party going all the way back to Woodrow Wilson you you guys don’t really believe in facts anyway…

Then their is the subject of morality … “incoherence of modern conservative dogma”… what a string of words and that coming from a dyed in the wool democrat who’s entire ideology is built around relative moralism…:joy::joy:


This is so very true and they have been winning election after election on this self-delusion and RA/NK HYPOCRISY and out right LIES. It is very hard for me to determine which of these issues are the worst, and do not feel that they can be separated because they are both so inherent in the republican party at this time.


Pure pablum… lots of silly words but not much substance… ‘Rank Hypocrisy and out right lies’… what to hell does that even mean???


Your statement wonderfully captures the arrogance, self importance and false hubris of the left. Those on the left refuse to believe they or their ideas could ever be wrong. Progressives/leftists are not traditionally religious, leftism is their religion.

Like all religions progressivism/leftism has its core tenets:

  • Progressivism is infallible
  • Progressivism is the only way
  • Those who aren’t progressive are wrong- always
  • Those who aren’t progressive are also bad people
  • Those who aren’t progressive are also racist, xenophobic, homophobic
  • Those who aren’t progressive are also stupid
  • Those who aren’t progressive are also uneducated

Progressives love to believe in a magical world where they are the sole intelligentsia, in their progressive utopias surrounded by a vast outer darkness of inferiors with primitive, non progressive ideas.

The great source of wonder and consternation of progressives is how, after being insulted and spat on verbally and sometimes physically, the Pagans of the outer darkness insist on becoming heathens.


Bush’s adventurism in Iraq was inexcusable, and was absurdly costly in every way. Yet it’s worth noting that during the reign of your messiah Barack of Chicago, 95% of the new wealth generated went to who? the middle class, the ever pandered to poor? Nope- the top 5%. And the economy, who but a progressive could ignore the messiah’s quadrupling of the national debt accumulated over 200+ years in just 8? Such ambition!

Tax cuts do stimulate the economy, in a strong economy with little unemployment, a government can raise taxes without excessive harm to the overall growth rate. Even though you reflexively go to the mantra that tax cuts only help Bernie’s Miyonaehs and Biyonaehs (of which he’s a member), the truth is the top marginal rate would come down one or two points at most. The cut in corporate taxes is to bring corporations back into the US- 20% of trillions is better than 35% of billions.

As to incompetence- yes, even though everyone thought they had no hope of ever prevailing on repealing the ACA, they should have prepared a well thought out alternative- fail - yuuuuge fail.

As to overall incompetence, one would have to look at the successes of the Clinton Presidency, and her overall, oh, wait…


The people who are really complaining about Trumps proposals are those from wealthy states who can no longer deduct their states largess from their federal taxes… This of course will only affect those who itemize but the states with the highest state income taxes which just happen to be California, New York, New Jersey and Illinois are not happy…


That should inspire all independents, rubes as well as Republicans to put another progressive idiot in the WH.


Just the campaigning was more than enough to vote for anyone but Clinton.

But always remember it wasn’t her fault!!!


Poor babies.

Perhaps social dispensation is in order. Maybe Californicate could lower their laughable state income tax of 13.3%.


Kind of a partisan question. There could be any of several other issues at play as well. But similar questions could be asked of the Democratic Party. For both of them it’s a matter of unquestioned power. It’s as though it has never registered with people that there are options.


Unfortunately the options require risk. People are naturally risk adverse.

Many who voted for Trump would have preferred another option but didn’t want a Hillary presidency. Hence they voted for the least offensive candidate to them.

Changing that mindset for independents leaning left or right will be difficult.


I believe that when people look at the authoritarian nature of your choices ’ leaning left or right ', unless they willfully give themselves over to the state, they will find that ‘compromise’ difficult to swallow… Of course if one understands that the present day spectrum of the political left and right is just the a choice between which ‘ruler’ and therefore a function of the true authoritarian left, then perhaps we can broaden the spectrum farther to the right and get back to individual choice and responsibility.


If you took away the sound bites that most of them have relied upon for the last 40-50 years, and then asked them what they wanted to achieve, I do not think any Republican politician would be able to say.

So, your question is, does moral or competent exist in a vacuum? I would say neither.


Maybe I need to think about the establishment and the base as purveyors of nonsense (incompetence, in my language) and hate (what I call immorality), respectively. It’s an alliance of the two, nonsense and hate, but not every constituency within conservatism participates equally in both categories. The politicians generate the nonsense, the base generates the hate. Maybe it’s even true that what rankles the base is that they keep getting fake crazy; what they want is real crazy, like the guy that Alabama may soon be sending to the U.S. Senate.


In his farewell address as president Tuesday, Barack Obama warned of the dangers of uncontrolled partisanship. American democracy, he said, is weakened “when we allow our political dialogue to become so corrosive that people of good character are turned off from public service, so coarse with rancor that Americans with whom we disagree are not just misguided, but somehow malevolent.”

You should learn from your fav president. he’s talking about YOU!


Incompetence or immorality?

Maybe neither. Perhaps the conservative view and the liberal view are hard-wired into our brain structures.

Check this out:

Then google around “conservative v liberal brain structures” or similar.

Studies show again and again that liberals and conservatives process new information and problem-solve differently.

It is also established that Lu berals are more comfortable with contradiction and nuance, while conservatives want clear answers.

Lindsey Graham may not have ever really pondered the fact that his experience of the world is not universal.


Interesting you would use Lindsey Graham… rather than say… Nancy Pelosi or Chuck Schumer… but then again, you may have a point… currently Graham and McCain tend to wander around in a world of their own…